Use non-toxic antifouling coatings on surfaces
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Antifouling paints and coatings are commonly used to manage ‘biofouling’ (organisms that attach to hard surfaces) on aquaculture gear (cages, nets, ponds) and other hard anthropogenic structures. However, some antifouling paints and coatings are highly toxic to aquatic wildlife, including marine and freshwater mammals. Tributyltin (TBT), for example, was widely used on vessels and has been found to accumulate in marine mammal tissues, with potentially lethal effects (Kannan et al. 1997). Using non-toxic or natural antifouling coatings (e.g. Magin et al. 2010, Kirschner & Brennan 2012) may reduce the risk of toxicity to marine and freshwater mammals.
Kannan K., Senthilkumar K., Loganathan B.G., Odell D.K. & Tanabe S. (1997) Elevated accumulation of tributyltin and its breakdown products in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) found stranded along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Environmental Science & Technology, 31, 296–301.
Kirschner C.M. & Brennan A.B. (2012) Bio-inspired antifouling strategies. Annual Review of Materials Research, 42, 211–229.
Magin C.M., Cooper S.P. & Brennan A.B. (2010) Non-toxic antifouling strategies. Materials Today, 13, 36–44.